“Woman Caught in Adultery Story Not Found in Early Manuscripts”

I’m interested in John 8:1-11. The notes in my NIV Bible say that these verses are not found in early manuscripts, and I was wondering what your thoughts are on this account of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.

Yes; you’re correct. The earliest and best manuscripts do not contain this story. It was almost certainly not an original part of John’s Gospel. Could it still be historical, though? Perhaps. It would be an unusual instance of a story passed down orally (and later included in John’s Gospel) that actually goes back to Jesus. Of course, I don’t think we can be dogmatic on this point. At most, I think we can say simply that it may be historical.

W. Hall Harris has a good discussion of this passage at Bible.org.

Shalom in Christ,

Michael Gleghorn

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